Seville's sun king descends on Spurs

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The Independent Online

Juande Ramos last night resigned as Seville manager and will be in the White Hart Lane stands to watch the match against Blackburn Rovers tomorrow before taking charge of his first game as Tottenham Hotspur manager against Blackpool in the Carling Cup on Wednesday. His decision ended a day of wrangling between the Spurs board and the Spanish club over compensation and Ramos himself is expected to be in London today to see his new club at first hand.

The move from Ramos was designed to speed up the process and send a clear message to Seville's club president, Jose Maria Del Nido, that he was not prepared to stay at the side currently placed 11th in La Liga. Central to Tottenham sealing the deal for Ramos was their vice-president, Paul Kemsley, who is due to leave the club in a couple of weeks. A renowned dealmaker who made his fortune in property, Kemsley has been one of sacked manager Martin Jol's main opponents on the board.

The figures quoted for Ramos' wages in some quarters yesterday were wildly inflated. With personal terms already agreed, the 53-year-old can expect to earn around £2m a year and nothing like the £5m-plus annual salary that Jose Mourinho commanded in his last contract at Chelsea.

Jol's compensation was sorted out fairly quickly, the Dutchman only had another 18 months left on his contract when he was sacked on Thursday. In the meantime, it has emerged that the extent of the confusion that surrounded Jol's exit on that night was such that neither the manager nor his players were aware of the situation before the evening Uefa Cup game.

The Independent understands that the Tottenham team, as well as Jol, did not know that their manager's fate was effectively sealed before they came out to face Getafe in their group game on Thursday. While the mood of the fans in the stadium – who had learned of the developments during the 2-1 defeat – suggested all was not well, it was not until the players got back to the dressing room afterwards that they learned what had happened.

At full-time, Jol went straight to the boardroom, having been tipped off about his position and the players were left to work it out for themselves. It was Darren Bent, an unused substitute, who broke the news to his team-mates – he got the information from a text message from a friend on his mobile phone. The players were still unsure whether the news was true when Jol finally came back down to the dressing room to say that he had been sacked and was leaving immediately.

Jol left the ground after the game without speaking to the press and the club finally released a statement at 11.31pm to confirm his departure. However, he was permitted to return to Spurs' training ground in Chigwell yesterday to clear out his office. There was no set-piece farewell to the staff and players, instead individuals went in to see him alone. In the meantime, the squad were told that the club hoped to have a manager in place by next week although no name was given to them.

The only two players who were called in to discuss the situation with the board in any detail were the club captain, Ledley King, who has been out all season with injury, and Robbie Keane. The squad are now under the guidance of the club's development officer, Clive Allen, and the youth team manager, Alex Inglethorpe, while the Tottenham board attempt to broker an agreement with Ramos to join the club immediately.

The goalkeeping coach Hans Segers has also been dismissed as well as the long-serving assistant, Chris Hughton, who has been at the club for almost 30 years as a player and coach. There is understood to be a great deal of sympathy around the Spurs training ground for Hughton, who was regarded as an excellent youth team coach and would have been happy to go back to coaching the younger players. However, the Tottenham board have settled upon a clean break with the past.

Hughton will be replaced by Gustavo Poyet, the former Uruguayan international who played for Spurs and Chelsea. Known as the "machine gun" during his time as a player because he spoke English so quickly, Poyet was not at training with Leeds United yesterday. Again, they have put up resistance to him leaving the club, although Poyet appears to be keen on a move.

Clive Allen has always been a vocal contributor to Spurs' first-team staff, albeit from the back row of the dug-out at White Hart Lane. Tomorrow he will get his chance to impress from the front row although his future in the club beyond the Blackburn game is not likely to be among the first-team staff. "The only way things can improve is the team getting results," Allen said yesterday.

"I spoke to the players briefly after the game [against Getafe] and said exactly that. They know the situation. They are disappointed with their form in the last couple of weeks in-particular and they are capable of a lot more. They want to show that. They are determined to do that and I'll be pushing them to try and turn around the results.

"It's a very difficult situation but I'm keen and passionate to do the best job I can in difficult circumstances with Martin and Chris leaving."

Earlier yesterday, Ramos was at Seville's training ground ahead of tomorrow's game against Valencia. Asked by local reporters: "Are you leaving?" he joked: "Yes, but I'm going to shower first." The club's Brazilian striker Luis Fabiano said that many of the players had read the reports in the Spanish press and accepted that their manager would be on his way out of the club over the weekend. "It is not good news if he goes but what can we do? We will keep working hard and trying to play good football. The coach has taught us well so we know what we have to do," Fabiano said.

'For my profession it's impossible not to leave for London,' says Ramos

In one more twist to the long-running Tottenham saga –and one befitting of the internet age – Juande Ramos issued a farewell message to Seville's supporters last night via his personal website.

"My heart will remain in Nervion [the area of Seville where the club's ground is located] but for my family and my profession it is impossible not to leave for London," he wrote. "To the red and white family of the Sanchez Pizjuan [Seville's stadium] I only say to you that I could go very far away but, Sevillista friend, I assure you, that nobody will ever be closer to you."

Ramos handed in the relevant paperwork tendering his resignation to the Primera Liga club late last night while Seville physical trainer Marcos Alvarez quit with him.

A statement on the Seville website, read: "Juande Ramos appeared on the third floor of the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan [stadium] to present a document in which he asked for his contract to be rescinded under clause 1006/85 at 22.35pm (local time).

"Ramos was accompanied by his physical trainer Marcos Alvarez, who presented the same document to the general director of the club, Jose Maria Cruz, in the presence of Ramon Rodriguez Monchi, the club's sporting director. The now ex-Seville coach declined the possibility of giving a press conference at the club's training facilities and has chosen his website www.juanderamos .com as a means of saying goodbye to Seville FC."

There was some sympathy for the departed Jol from the men in charge of two of the clubs he failed to match. "He is a decent man who has shown his integrity but he is probably relieved it is all over, " said Sir Alex Ferguson. "We have all witnessed a drip, drip, drip effect right from the start of the season when there was talk of the people from Tottenham meeting the Seville coach."

Arsene Wenger said: "I feel sorry for him. It's sad because I think he did a great job there."

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